New Mexico Shakespeare Festival, presented by the City of Albuquerque, is the only free, public theatre festival of its kind in New Mexico. But what does it mean to be a public theatre festival? We believe that the ideas of public connection, common values, and shared experiences are more important than ever in our city, county, and world. The power of theatre is to actualize those ideas – and the power of public theatre is to spread those ideas without limits on who can participate.
All of that starts with you! Below you will find brief descriptions of the shows and information about our upcoming auditions for the 2023 Festival. Please consider signing up for auditions as soon as possible. Auditions for the 2023 New Mexico Shakespeare Festival will take placeFebruary 4 and 5, 2023at Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts, 4121 Cutler Ave NE. Audition times are Saturday Feb. 4, 2 – 5 pm and 7 – 9 pm and Sunday Feb. 5, 2 – 5 pm and 7 – 9 pm.
PLEASE NOTE: Keshet requires mask wearing at all times. You will be allowed to remove your mask when you are performing.
The main themes in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are love and magic. Love: Shakespeare portrays romantic love as a blind, irrational, often beautiful force that can be both cruel and forgiving. Ultimately, love drives the play’s entire plot.
Magic is a huge component. The fairies’ magic, which brings about many of the most bizarre and hilarious situations in the play, is another element central to the fantastic atmosphere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare uses magic both to embody the almost supernatural power of love (symbolized by the love potion) and to create a surreal world. Although the misuse of magic causes chaos, as when Puck mistakenly applies the love potion to Lysander’s eyelids, magic ultimately resolves the play’s tensions by restoring love to balance among the quartet of Athenian youths. Additionally, the ease with which Puck uses magic to his own ends, as when he reshapes Bottom’s head into that of an ass, stands in contrast to the laboriousness and gracelessness of the craftsmen’s attempt to stage their play.
Our version of this delightful play will be filled with music and laughter.
One of the first trade guilds in our Western culture was the “Artists of Dionysus” — actors, acrobats, dancers, jugglers and clowns. And to them we dedicate our production of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.
Shakespeare “borrowed” his story of mistaken identities and missed meetings from William Warner who translated the play directly from the Roman playwright, Plautus. Plautus’ work, The Twin Menaechmi, was written around 200 BCE and became at once a major influence for all future comedy for its use of stock characters, comedic insane situations and the foibles of the common man. Combining this style of comic writing with the style of comic performance such as Commedia dell’arte, produced a very distinct and popular form of clowning and story-telling that lasted throughout the middle ages and into the Italian and English Renaissance.
More than any thing else, we will work to find and milk every bit of comedy and good cheer from this early Shakespeare play.